Season 1 Episode 4

The Arrival

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Sep 30, 2008 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
781 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The team investigates a strange cylinder, found in a deadly explosion at a construction site in New York City. The cylinder was in the middle of the explosion and was completely unharmed. Olivia uncovers a correlation between different disturbing events.

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  • Utterly confusing, but I think it will lead into something great

    It's hard to rate this episode because in my opinion, Fringe is this special type of series where it's better to rate the whole thing than every little piece of it. I will rate every single episode anway, so I have to say that this episode was beyond just confusing and made like the Walter Bishop character less, however I really enjoyed the mystery about the whole thing. I sincerely hope that this coalesces into a fantastic entirety. Still, the confusion was by far not the only flaw of this episode: never ending illogicality, blatant oddness and a crime, which by the end, nobody gives a shit about. The creators want to keep us watching with this crazy cliffhanger, which seems to make the show more complicated than it already is - after 4 freaking episodes!

    I could rate this episode really bad because of all these things, but I won't because I believe in the show to become really entertaining eventually and I suspect that I'll like the stuff that just confuses me for now. Furthermore, it's good dialogues and fine acting.moreless
  • The Arrival

    "Another in a long line of questions," he says at one point of the episode Agent Broyles ("Lance Reddick"), perfectly summarizing the main feeling resulting from another episode of "Fringe" written by JJ Abrams, the third, which he never did for "Lost."

    It is true that Abrams wrote little "Lost", but who see this episode easily notice that the basic formula, the "school" is the same, as in the end we were surrounded by a flurry of questions.

    That cylindrical object was that? Where it came from? Where did it go? What do you do? Who is bald? Whence came those futuristic weapons?

    Reportedly, the "bald" has some similarities with any character of any BD. As I am not BD player, I have no idea who he is. Only by what we are shown, it seemed like a character in the service of something "higher." A representative of any "higher power".

    The best will even give it rest, not thinking much about it and hope that the answers come in a few years ...!? Maybe if Fox does not cancel the series however.

    In relation to the episode itself, its beginning, although intriguing (odd, even), was not as exciting as the previous two. But if the interest in the other two episodes would be diluted as the minutes passed, this third volume the opposite happens. We have mystery, conflict, weapons and unconventional methods of torture, more mystery, we see more clearly where Peter (Joshua Jackson) can fit in all this and do not serve only as a babysitter to Walter (John Noble), breaches of trust, and end up with more mystery. Overall, a pretty solid episode made an interesting pace.

    And, of course, the end could not have that typical cliffhanger that, despite being something that we would be waiting to see happen (eventually), it was still very interesting, leaving us with open appetite for the next chapter .moreless
  • It just irks me that they stole so blatantly from one of the best sci-fi shows ever.

    I wasn't too sure about this show to begin with, it felt like a slower, more cheesier, version of the X-Files. I'm the kind of person that doesn't stop watching a show after I see one episode of it, precisely why I still watch Heroes, and watched Charmed. I stuck with the show through three horribly slow uninvolved episodes, maybe they were bad because the show was thought to tank, who knows, but when the fourth episode began about an hour ago I felt a rush of nostalgia as "The Observer" brought back fond memories of the cheese filled, yet oh so charming, X-Files, the charming bit something this show lacked. I was finally interested and the show didn't drag on as it did before. It was more of a push and pull though, but what I would expect after the three prior failed attempts to woo me, I was a little apprehensive. It went well until it got to the scene when Peter attacked "The Observer" from out of nowhere, and this is the reason for me making an account and making a post that possibly no one will read. Peter and The Observer got into and Peter started yelling, then it turns that The Observer is copying everything Peter is saying (gasp!) then, what's this? Now Peter is copying The Observer, oh my! This might be shocking if I hadn't seen it before on the Doctor Who episode "Midnight" it just irks me that they stole so blatantly from one of the best sci-fi shows ever. Also find it odd that I found nothing on this around the internet, although a quick look on Google isn't much digging. Now it could all just be a big coincidence since the shows did only air a few months apart and all that jazz, so I'll give Fringe the benefit of the doubt and finish of the first season before I decide to give up on it entirely or catch up to where it is now.moreless
  • Hello Liv.

    This episode really brings on the Fringe mystery. The strange observer, is he even human? Father and son relationship, hints on the past. Why does the observer get involved and saves someone, only for the mysterious cylinder?What is the cylinder? How could Peter know something he didn't? And John, how can he call but not call and then show up? What did Massive Dynamic do to him? Is Olivia going nuts of stress?

    Don't get me wrong, I loved the episode but it left me unsatisfied, no answers only questions. I would go mad if I didn't already have whole season on dvd. Now the next one. Yey!moreless
  • Better...

    I had almost given up on this serie as after the promising pilot, I felt, everything else have been quite disappointing but no.. this episode tried to restore my faith.

    I loved the way this had some kind of person meaning and connection to Peter and finding his purpose on this as we had settled reason for Olivia quite well.. It was not question about Walter but he was little bit of loose end and now they tied it. So.. that was good.

    Also the case.. it was quite good. I mean, there was mystery, some leads, some answers and more questions.. And the ending was even more promising.moreless
Nestor Serrano

Nestor Serrano

Colonel Jacobson

Guest Star

Lisa Joyce

Lisa Joyce

Young Waitress

Guest Star

Nancy Ticotin

Nancy Ticotin

Older Waitress

Guest Star

Michael Cerveris

Michael Cerveris

The Observer

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • When Olivia is showing Peter pictures of the Observer, she shows him one from a hospital. He is standing in front of a wall in the middle of the picture. When she shows the pictures to Broyles, the hospital picture is different. The Observer is now moving away from the camera and much harder to see.

    • At the very beginning of the episode a poster with the words "Unlock Your Hidden Potential" can be seen on the lamp post. This is the clue for the next episode, "Power Hungry."

    • Trivia: The glyph cipher spells "rogue".

    • The photograph from the cylinder's appearance in 1987 clearly shows a Marine wearing digital pattern camouflage. Digital pattern camouflage was not issued to U.S. Marine forces until late 2003.

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Walter: Have you never taken anything that didn't belong to you because you knew it was the right thing to do?
      Peter: This isn't about me.
      Walter: Maybe it is, Peter.

    • Walter: We need...we need something very important.
      Peter: What?
      Walter: Aluminum foil.
      Peter: Why?
      Walter: Trust me...
      Peter: No, thank you.
      Walter: Damn it! (talks calmly but sternly) Must you always be such a smart ass?

    • Walter: Where are you going?
      Peter: It occurs to me it might be easier to sleep in the tub.
      Walter: A root beer float. Delicious.
      Peter: Next time, would you please drain the tub?
      Walter: Oh yes, indeed.

    • Peter: (Walter) was awake until five in the morning reciting the chemical compositions of his favorite beverages to me. That was right after he finished lecturing me on how I'd squandered my above-average intellect and my substantial education. All while he was standing there naked, because he prefers the breeze.

    • Olivia: He would rather go back to St. Claire's than work here without you. He said that more than once.
      Peter: Was he wearing clothes at the time?

    • Walter: The precision with which this object was constructed in inspiring, down to the metallic bonds.
      Peter: I sure hope that a gigantic metallic suppository isn't the pinnacle of human achievement.

    • Walter: Open your mind, son, or someone may open it for you.

    • Walter: If I attempted to explain it, you… you might think me mad.
      Peter: Don't worry, there's no chance of that happening.

    • Walter: If it would help you feel a sense of retribution, I would tell you to inject me too. But I'd most likely enjoy it.

    • Olivia: Your credentials have been approved. Civilian consultant to the Department of Homeland Security.
      Peter: Does this mean I don't need an escort to come into the Federal Building any more?
      Olivia: Yeah.
      Peter: Will it get me out of a speeding ticket?
      Olivia: Maybe.

    • Walter: I know you must think me insane.
      Peter: Not nearly as much as you might think.

  • NOTES (6)

    • Blair Brown is credited but doesn't appear.

    • Music: Crazy (Willie Nelson), King of the Road (Roger Miller)

    • In September 2008 Joshua Jackson (Peter Bishop) was rushed to the hospital when a copper wire was shoved up his nose and hit a vein during a stunt.

    • Michael Cervantes, who plays the Observer, is the one who came up with the Observers' language and writing.

    • The beginning of this episode is not in Brooklyn. It's the East River Diner in Long Island City, Queens, 44th Dr. and 11 Street.

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Sweden: October 23, 2008 on Kanal 5
      United Kingdom: October 26, 2008 on Sky1/Sky1 HD
      Norway: January 25, 2009, on Tvn
      Finland: January 26, 2009 on MTV3
      Thailand: February 28, 2009 on True Series
      Germany: April 6, 2009 on Pro7
      Belgium: June 11, 2009 on RTBF2
      France: June 24, 2009 on TF1
      New Zealand: July 22, 2009 on TV2
      Poland: October 1, 2009 on TVN
      Slovakia: October 25, 2009 on Markiza
      Czech Republic: February 19, 2010 on Nova Cinema


    • Broyles: What it looks like he's doing is watching. Observing. Which is why we refer to him as "The Observer."
      Referencing the Marvel Comics character, The Watcher: a powerful but enigmatic bald humanoid alien whose purpose is to observe and record events of significance.

    • Peter: Your friend, he's a tall guy, right? Pink? Big fuzzy ears?
      Referencing the 1950 movie Harvey, in which the main character, Elwood P. Dowd, claims to have an invisible friend that takes the form of a 6-foot-tall pink rabbit which only he can see.